Hermès And Why I’m Skipping This Year’s Sample Sale

Hermès sample sales have always been the epitomy of luxury. A brand steeped in history, who’s world renowned craftsmanship and designs are unmatched in the fashion industry and who’s products never go on sale. Even a mere thought of an Hermès sample sale could send shoppers into a frenzy. Over the years the sales have been very hit or miss. If last year’s event reached the apex of quality, quantity, and price then the sales from 3-4 years ago were the antithesis. Last time I was able to save 60% off retail on enamels, bracelets, and other jewelry pieces as well as a huge selection of silk and cashmere scarves and ties. Three years ago things were very different, there was no jewelry, no silks, no beauty, just your typical RTW and home decor at 40%-50% off. Needless to say there were no lines to get into that sale and many disappointed Hermès lovers chose to shun the sale in its entirety. 

Fast forward to today when things are not quite as bleak yet disappointement abounds. The discounts reverted back down to 50% off retail. One of the most coveted categories, jewelry is confirmed to be completely absent from this year’s event. Yes, there are no bracelets, not enamels or leather and you can forget about the clic-clacs! Nope, not even a random pair of earrings or keychain. In fact the only closest thing to accessories are the scarf rings and chances are those sold out during the private portion of the event. The good news is that there are plenty of scarves and ties. Silk scarves of various sizes (70cm, 90cm, 120cm) along with a nice selection of cashmere. Other accessories include gloves and hats, (similar to last year) and of course there are loads and loads of RTW and shoes.

Yesterday afternoon the brand held a VIP preview for their top customers (nope, I wasn’t included). I was in the city though checking out another sample sale. Based on what I had heard I came to a realization that this year’s sale was going to be a total skip. While there are plenty of scarves and ties, the inevitable wait times is what puts the kibosh on the whole affair. Last night there were already people camping out. The line sitters from Sold Inc. showed up shortly before midnight and they weren’t even the first in line!

By 2:20am the line had grown to 75 people. By 6am there were close to 250 eager shoppers waiting to get in and I won’t even venture a guess how many will be standing in line at 9am when the sale opens its doors. Soiffer Haskin has the capacity of about 50-60 shoppers (minus the staff) that can occupy the venue at any given time. This means that people getting there after 2:30am won’t even be in the first group! This already beats the record from last year. A shopper like myself would have purchased at best 2-3 silk scarves, maybe a tie but in order to actually get inside I would have had to spend a minimum of seven hours in line. Yes! Seven hours! What? You say maybe come later in the day, when the line is smaller? Let me just take a moment to laugh in your face! Last time unlucky shoppers who got to the sale after 9am ended up waiting for over eight hours and never actually made it inside. What’s going to be this year’s cutoff? Whatever it is, by the time you read this post it’s already too late. Heck, it was too late before I started writing! Needless to say the amount of time necessary to devote to this event can only be offset by the amount of items you are looking to purchase. If you are going to take full advantage of the buying limits that include 7 scarves, 1 cashmere scarf (part of the total 7 scarf limit), 10 ties, 1 scarf ring then maybe, just maybe the wait times can be justified. There are no limits on RTW and shoes but let’s get real, people who buy Hermès clothing don’t shop at sample sales. 

All I can say is that I’m glad that I stayed home 🙂 Why not check out all the other sample sales happening today? Like Secret Celebrity and their bargain friendly home decor offerings, Vivienne Westwood sample sale will offer discounts of up to 90% off retail, there are additional markdowns for final days of Bandier and Thomas Laine respective sample sales. Point being there are plenty of options besides Hermès. What are your thoughts? Have you also decided to skip the sale or are you one of the dedicated souls who is willing to wait 7-8 hours? Please share! I’d love to hear what everyone thinks 🙂 

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